(The Center Square) – Projections show the amendment enshrining collective bargaining rights in the Illinois Constitution received 53% support of all votes cast in last week’s election, exceeding the simple majority of all voters threshold needed to pass. Some are waiting to see the officially certified results.
The measure known as Amendment 1 has its supporters saying it will codify workers’ rights in Illinois. Opponents say it will lead to stiff property tax hikes.
“Today, the Associated Press officially projected the Workers’ Rights Amendment was passed by voters in this year’s midterm election,” Vote Yes for Workers’ Rights said in a statement Tuesday.
Todd Maisch of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce opposed the measure. He believes this could have an impact many years down the road.
“Our position is still the same on this measure,” Maisch said. “You should not change the constitution for grounds that will be in place for generations to come.”
Maisch told The Center Square that the chamber is still waiting to see the official outcome despite reports of the amendment’s passing.
“We got to see the final numbers. I am skeptical that you end up on only 58% of those people voting on it, and they are still going to hit the required 50% plus,” Maisch said. “When you are trying to pass something like this, there is no doubt that you would create a narrative that you won.”
The Workers Rights Foundation, a leading supporter of the measure, released a statement Tuesday claiming it “will protect every Illinoisan’s right to join with their coworkers to negotiate for pay raises for generations to come.”
The statement also claims the “victory is a historic moment” for workers and will “kick-start our economy and help families deal with rising costs” by putting “more money in their pockets.”
The Illinois Policy Institute said it is waiting for official numbers.
“The State Board of Elections is the ultimate authority on this issue,” said Matt Paprocki, president and CEO of the Illinois Policy Institute. “Right now, the amendment is getting just over 50% of total voters in a low turnout year, despite” supporters “spending $16 million.”
If approved, the measure would go into effect after the election is certified on Dec. 9 by the Illinois State Board of Elections.